5 Makoto Shinkai Movies You Definitely Must Watch

Here are our top picks!

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Makoto Shinkai’s latest movie “Weathering With You” (Tenki no Ko) had a very impressive blockbuster success in Japan a few weeks ago. In fact the film has already grossed more than 1.5 billion yen, or roughly USD $15 million dollars in box office sales. Plus, the film will be released in PH theaters later this month.

The film director is widely known for his movies that is mainly centered on love. He also has this trademark animation style that can be said to be on par with Hayao Miyazaki’s works. For those who still have yet to experience his movies (and there are a lot of them), in no particular order, here are some recommendations that I think you really should watch:


Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

The story is about two childhood friends, Mikaru and Noburu who got separated because the girl is sent to space to fight a war against aliens. As she goes deeper and further into the black void of space, Mikaru’s messages to Noburu would arrive late. The film’s plot mainly focuses on her battles at the same time reverting scenarios with Noburu’s life as he receives her messages over the years.


Your Name (2016)

Kimi no Na wa was the first of Makoto Shinkai’s movies that I watched in a cinema. It is a romance/mystery flick that focuses on a supernatural phenomenon and parallel timelines. The story revolves around the characters Mitsuha and Taki, (who is a countryside girl and a city boy, respectively). One fateful event had them reciprocally switching bodies which leads them to finding out what’s behind all of this. I wont spoil too much now but I have to say, the movie had an engaging story, lovable characters, and a really amazing score!


The Garden of Words (2013)

Takeo is a high school student who has this humble dream of becoming a shoemaker. Because of his passion (at the expense of his education) he tried to pursue his career. Along the way he meets Yukari, who he sees on rainy days. Those rainy days prove to be eventful as they begin to develop a liking to each other. Not diving into details much as I would like the audience to experience this on their own, but I have to say that I really like The Garden of Words mainly for tackling a story that seems out of the creator’s comfort zone. Shinkai surprisingly breaks from the tried and true formula in all his other films.


5 Centimeters per Second (2007)

This three-act movie focuses on Takaki and his long-distance relationship with Akari, his close friend. Couples who are in an LDR should really try to pick this up. Who knows, you might learn something from it. The 3-part act really got to me for reasons I will not spoil. To be honest I prefer this over Kimi no Nawa because the story was more grounded and true-to-life.


The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

The Place Promised in Our Early Days takes place in an alternate time in Japan where the country has been divided along Cold War lines. Hokkaido (named Ezo in the movie) going to the Soviets and the rest of Japan falling under western influence. As both an alternate reality and Cold War history nut, this hit all the right cylinders for me.

So there you have it! What movies would you recommend? Sound off on the comments below!